At the start of this month, Chrissy Teigen shared with the world the loss of her son at 20 weeks. She literally posted black and white photos, speaking truth to her experience. Photos that spoke volumes without any words with her face wet with tears and grimaced in pain. Prior to this painful loss, she has been vocal about her fertility treatment in the past, but what was different about this pregnancy was it was unexpected for the couple. She conceived naturally. She recently revealed her pregnancy joy with us on social media. She is high risk so she was on bed rest. She was very in tune with her medical needs and following doctor’s orders. But even when we do our best to protect the life inside of us, our journey takes another turn towards a path of loss and pain.
I learned a lot about pregnancy on my fertility journey, and one profound fact is that there is still mystery in conception. It is true that so much medical advancements have been made in this field, but there is still so much to research and discover about conception and pregnancy. When I was actively going through treatment, I had to free up my schedule. I had to be ready when my body was ready, when that one follicle released an egg. My doctor told me that there is a 24 hour window and if missed, we go back to the drawing board. And even if we do it right, checking off everything on the to-do list, it’s a 2 week waiting game. If the egg and sperm fertilize, there is no way of knowing if the fertilized egg will implant and if my body will accept it or reject it. And if after the two week wait reveals a negative beta test, there is still the unknown of the why.
When I had my son, I recall people telling me that my efforts would improve on conceiving the next one. That somehow the flood gates would open up and I would become a baby factory. I made a quick decision after my son’s birth not to start birth control and let nature happen. Unfortunately, after a year, I did not conceive on my own and had to return to Shady Grove Fertility. This is referred to as secondary infertility. This time my doctor focused on treating PCOS and within a few months, I was pregnant. This was exciting news and it came right before Christmas. I remember when I went in after the new year for our 6 week ultrasound. We heard the heartbeat, but I do recall that there was a readjustment on the conception date because the fetus measured smaller. But other than that, we left the appointment elated. At our scheduled 10 week appointment, unfortunately, there was no heartbeat and there was very little growth from the previous appointment. This is referred to as spontaneous abortion. My body detected something was wrong. We opted out of the culture test to determine “the why”, but I recall for several days Googling possible reasons why I miscarried. Along the way, I started to focus on my loss and how to grieve.
No one has the answers. Not Politicians. Not Doctors. Not Google. There is not one experience. We have to share our journeys both good and painful so that we can be treated with respect and compassion. In my experience, I felt in control of my body and my decisions, and I was surrounded with a strong support system that included my doctors, family, and friends. Right now I empathize with Chrissy and the loss of her son Jack, and I pray that she will find peace within her pain and find strength and support from her family and friends.